Monday, March 25, 2019

RC2019/03 -- Halftime Report

Ok, it's 10 days past "half" time...but this is better than nothing, right? :-)

Comments In Blue

To see the judge's comments, go to the entrants page. I have added my comments in blue text. I don't think I've been too critical, or stepped on anyone's toes, but sometimes it can be hard to tell for sure -- no offense intended! Please presume that at worst, I might be poking a little fun. But honestly, for the most part there are great projects which deserve nothing but good things to say.

If you do feel the need to reply, then send me an email. I'm happy to add your rebuttal!

Back To Work

So anyway, enjoy the respite while you consider my thoughts on your project and take a moment to look at your competitor's projects as well. There is some great fun and amusement to be had. But honestly, no project feels as good as a finished project -- are you done? If not, then you've got (almost) one more week...get busy!

Friday, March 22, 2019

RC2019/03 -- one more week!

Tick, tock -- time marches on! Before long, the month of March will be over, and the midpoint is well past already. I'm looking at the entries for the halftime progress, and I know Michai is looking too. Hopefully we can get a halftime report out before too long.

Meanwhile, the competitors are continuing their projects and having lots of fun. That's really the point -- little of practical use comes from Retrochallenge, other than the joy that gets sparked in both the competitors and the observers. So do take a chance to review the entries, make comments, tell your nerdy friends, etc! Make a party out of the spectacle.

As of now, there is one week and the following weekend remaining for the competition. In many cases, that could be enough time for a complete project! In other cases, it may just be enough time to document your progress and withdraw with a little dignity...but honestly, if you entered this event, then dignity can't be much of a priority...

Alright, here ends this interruption. Get back to your projects, do your best, and make us all proud!!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

RC2019/03 is a go!

The last day of February is slipping away, which means that March is now upon us. It's time for the next RetroChallenge event to get underway!


If you haven't already done so, take a look at our list of RetroChallengers for this round. We have a mix of oldtimers and new faces, and a nice mix of proposed projects. In the list you will see restoration projects, new games for retro platforms, computer hardware projects, and even a robot arm! This should be another great round of RetroChallenge. Remember, the only way to lose at RetroChallenge is not to play at all...

So, browse the list of competitors and their projects, check-out their blog sites, and add your favorites to your list of daily websites to browse. I have a feeling that this group of latter day retro nerds, boffins, and geeks are going to provide some great entertainment for all, and maybe even some retro inspiration for a few...

Which one will be your favorite? Can they hold your attention through the end of March? Will they win a prize? Will the prize be worth the blood, sweat, and tears? (Probably not!)

If any of this inspires you to sponsor a prize, please reach out to me. But, prizes or not, I really hope that everyone will enjoy what is coming in the next month. Just remember...

Stay tuned!

Monday, February 4, 2019

RC2019/03 -- Open for Entrants!

It's about that time of year again! Who is ready for another round of RetroChallenge?!?!?!

Entries Accepted

If you plan to join us in the RC2019/03 competition, now is the time to make yourself known. Feel free to refer to our "RetroChallenge Rules" page for reminders, but the basics are "do something interesting with an old computer, and blog about it for month". Please note that microcontrollers now qualify under similar conditions to video game consoles (i.e. made in the previous century).

Whatever you are going to do, please send me an email describing:
  1. Your name (or alias);
  2. Your picture (or I'll find something online);
  3. Your Twitter handle (if applicable);
  4. Your blog location (for project updates); and
  5. A brief synopsis of your project.
I will produce an entrants list that looks a bit like the one from RC2018/09, so use that as a guide for the level of information needed. Please send the information requested above to me via email to linville at tuxdriver dot com -- figuring-out how to decode that address is your first test...

Get Things Rolling!

Well, then, that's all for now -- just about 3.5 weeks until the start of the competition! Currently I do not have any prize donations to announce, but I am hopeful as always that our retro-oriented friends will come through with some great prize offerings. Don't worry! Remember, the competition is it's own reward... :-)

Anyway, get your entry to me, order your parts, and make any necessary preparations. March will soon be here!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

RC2018/09 -- Results!

All doubts aside -- we now have results to announce for the RC2018/09 event!


Many thanks are due to Michai Ramakers for his assistance with the judging. Michai is primarily responsible for the comments on the projects for RC2018/09, leaving me to handle the clerical work and to render the final judgments. Without Michai's help, this round's results would likely be even more delayed -- no one would want that!

So, with no further ado...the winners that I have selected for RC2018/09 are (in no particular order):

  • Cole Johnson
  • Pim van Tend
  • Mats Engstrom
I felt that these projects were the best in this round at demonstrating technical skill while also providing useful and entertaining presentation of each projects progress. Well done!


I am offering lightly used copies the following three books from my own collection as tokens of appreciation to the Winners listed above:
If you are a winner, please contact me (linville at tuxdriver dot com) with your delivery address and your book preferences in numbered order, ASAP. Hopefully that gets the books to those that will want to read them...

Honorable Mentions
  • Tom Raidna
  • Raphael Assenat
  • Davy Mitchell
In addition to the prize winners, I felt it necessary to name a few in the "honorable mention" category. Honestly, there were a lot of great projects this time around. There were also remarkably few drop-outs (other than me) -- great effort all around!


If you haven't had a chance yet, then please go check-out the entrants list to see the comments from Michai (and a few from me). Really, this was a great round of RetroChallenge. Was it the best round ever? Maybe, or maybe not. The next round will be RC2019/03 in March -- I guess you'll just have to stay tuned...

Monday, October 15, 2018

Tabulation Delays

It's been two weeks -- where are the results? Is John napping again?? Well...

Not Exactly

There was the usual initial grace period for allowing slow finishers to, well, finish. After a few days I also got some helpful comments from Michai in order to aid the judging. Beyond that...yes, I was a bit slow and lazy...but there was also this Super Secret Awesome Work Project that pinned me down a bit, plus a few normal life events, etc.

That Blows

Oh, and the remnants of a hurricane came through the area and knocked-out electrical power and normal Internet access. Don't worry, no one was hurt and it was mostly just a big inconvenience. We have a gasoline-fired generator for powering modern conveniences (like the well pump), so we got to burn a few gallons of gasoline by keeping food frozen and the lights on. Fortunately the weather was comfortable too. Nevertheless, it was a bit rougher than my soft, first-world family would have liked!

Hopefully everyone can forgive me for getting a bit further behind on the RC2018/09 judging. Don't worry, I'm still on it... ;-)

Monday, October 1, 2018

RC2018/09 Checkered Flag

OK, September has come and gone. Hopefully everyone got a good opportunity to enjoy some retrocomputing time and if not...well, there will be another event in March... :-)

Checkered Flag

The competition is over for now. So relax, pour yourself a nice beverage, and enjoy a little break. If you are like me, that will probably lead to some rethinking and second-guessing about various aspects of your project. But that's OK -- you can check-out anytime you like, but you can never leave...

If you need another 24 hours or so to finish your write-ups then take it. I probably won't start the big review for another day or two. I expect that Michai will provide me with his own comments, and I'll invite anyone that would like to privately comment on the projects to feel free to send those comments to me soon. I hope to be a bit more timely with the judging this time than last time, but it will still likely be roughly a week or more before I finish. So, check back here starting then.

Competitors, Thanks!

Of course, I would like to thank all of our competitors for volunteering to share their projects in order to entertain us all. Hopefully we are also advancing the retrocomputing hobby and building the interest in the history and preservation of these ancient idols of technology. Let's hope so, anyway! Oh, and stay tuned...